Kitsilano: The neighbourhood at a glance

Health-conscious residents sporting $100 yoga pants long ago replaced hippies in Kitsilano. With its beaches, parks, popular brunch spots and shopping streets, the leafy area that's bordered by English Bay, West 16th Avenue, Burrard and Alma streets is likely one of the first neighbourhoods visited by newcomers to the city.

Kitsilano is home to the second highest number of people aged 25 to 34 in Vancouver, second to the West End, according to the 2011 Census. The median age of female residents over age 15 is the lowest in the city at 38, the second lowest for the male population at 37, only lower in Mount Pleasant at age 36.

Kitsilano has the largest number of apartment buildings in the city with fewer than five storeys, according to the 2011 Census. Pretty and non-gritty, Kits is home to multiple housing co-ops and character homes on tree-canopied streets.

In the late 1960s, West Fourth Avenue was ground zero for hippies. Now chain retailers and high-end baby stores have edged out humbler businesses on the shopping strip.

Still, many Kits stalwarts remain, from the more than 30-year-old Naam 24-hour vegetarian restaurant, spiritually inclined Banyen Books and Sound to Zulu Records on Fourth Avenue to Greek businesses on West Broadway.

Greek Day on Broadway drew tens of thousands last month and the Khatsahlano! Music and Arts Festival is expected to draw similar crowds to West Fourth Avenue July 13. The Celebration of Light fireworks nights, which run July 27 to Aug. 3, never fail to draw droves of visitors to the shore. KitsFest sports and healthy living festival hits the beach Aug. 9 to 11.

The swathe of the city named for Squamish Chief August Jack Khahtsahlano is home to the Museum of Vancouver, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Maritime Museum and the annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, but its community has lost two movie theatres and a five-pin bowling alley in recent weeks and years.
 

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